People: why would I eat a certain way and exercise a certain way if I don’t get immediate gratification?
Me: because it’s the right thing to do.
Same people: I can’t believe so-and-so would do/say/believe such a thing.
Same people: well, it just isn’t the right thing to do.
Me: but isn’t it serving his/her immediate gratification?
Most of the time, it’s difficult to think in terms of long-term right-thing-to-do. Most of the time, people don’t do it. And your self-serving immediate gratification sins may indeed affect FEWER people this second than the self-serving immediate gratification sins of your most reviled enemies. In fact, your individual personal immediate gratification probably does affect FEWER people at a lower magnitude today, at least directly. However, given that 2/3 of federal spending is on older people and their medical costs, it’s not really fair to say that the way you live your life has no impact on other people’s lives. And the fact that our country’s resource needs, in part, rely on world domination and trade conquest and leftovers of imperialism, our consumerism and convenience-driven lives of anti-self-care are no small thing.
Not many of us are getting off the grid, living off the land, self-sustaining, and shunning modern society. Maybe the Amish? The purchase of drive-through food alone has rippling impact across the globe:
We think we’re just lightly mistreating ourselves once or twice, here and there, so no big deal. Multiply that thinking times 1.7 billion people. It is crushing the other 5 billion.
Even the worst bad guys in history only affected a few million people. American impact is in the billions. The collective misuse and abuse of your health is arguably more directly and negatively affecting more people than all the wrongdoing of all your hated enemies combined.
I’m not saying that it is. I’m saying think about it.